M25 Junction 10 to A3 Wisley Interchange Development Consent Order

Client: Atkins (for Highways England)

Overview

CJ Associates was appointed by Atkins to provide strategic support on Highways England’s South East Roads Investment Programme in August 2017.  M25 junction 10 to A3 Wisley Interchange in Surrey is located on one of the busiest sections of the Strategic Road Network.

The scheme aims to reduce congestion, increase road capacity, improve journey time reliability and road safety at the same time supporting local development.  It also includes conversion of the hard shoulders on the M25 through junction 10 provide an additional lane in each direction.

The scheme qualifies as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. CJ Associates has provided a comprehensive stakeholder engagement and consultation service for this Development Consent Order (DCO) scheme under the Planning Act 2008.  An application for a draft DCO made to the Planning Inspectorate in June 2019.  The scheme was accepted in July for Examination, which is currently underway.

CJ Associates has also been responsible for design and implementation of the strategic stakeholder engagement plan, delivery of three rounds of non-statutory consultations throughout 2018-2020, the management of key relationships, agreeing statements of common ground with local authorities and statutory environmental bodies and engagement with major organisations.

Key Services

Authorisations, Consents, Land and Property

  • Supporting the DCO preparation process advising on matters relating to land, rights and the justification for compulsory purchase.
  • Provision of expert advice and support to senior leadership team at Atkins and Highways England during the pre-application and Examination phases of the draft Development Consent Order.
  • Working with the Atkins project team, Highways England and legal specialists to identify reasons for acquisition and define land and property rights for the construction, operation and maintenance of the scheme.
  • Provision of Development Consent Order expertise and supporting delivery of statutory requirements and notifications regarding the application and examination.
  • Producing the Statement of Reasons (SoR) for the project, which provides detailed information on land matters and provides the case for compulsory purchase. The SoR sets out in detail why compulsory acquisition and temporary possession powers have been sought by the DCO and explains why the powers are necessary, proportionate and justified. It also defines the process of identifying interests, the case for land take, compulsory purchase and matters relating to special land considerations.
  • Producing Schedules 5 & 7 to the DCO which provides the order powers and rights the scheme requires over land for its construction, operation and maintenance.

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Provision of full-service stakeholder engagement lead and expert stakeholder team embedded within the project team and Development Consent Order Management Team
  • Development and delivery of strategic stakeholder engagement plan to enhance relationships, build support and consensus to smooth the consent process
  • Programme management of the workstream and production of deliverables
  • Development and implementation of stakeholder engagement, communication and consultation activities
  • Ensuring compliance with the Planning Act in undertaking consultations and reporting
  • Managing non-statutory consultations including service of statutory notices to very tight deadlines and ensuring compliance with the Planning Act in undertaking consultations and reporting
  • Evaluation of consultation responses and delivering workshops with the senior leadership team to demonstrate contentious consideration of consultation feedback
  • Supporting application for change to the DCO application, including consultation and reporting
  • Leading on engagement with local authorities, statutory environmental bodies, major landowners and organisations
  • Development of statements of common ground with statutory and non-statutory environmental bodies including Natural England, Historic England, Environment Agency
  • Development of statements of common ground with Surrey County Council, Elmbridge Borough Council and Guildford Borough Council
  • Development of Statement of Commonality of Statements of Common Ground
  • Liaison with land and property teams on landowner consultations and CPA
  • Provision of Stakeholder Database and management of records of engagement
  • Development of Stakeholder Commitments Register
  • Supporting the development of responses to Interested Parties’ Relevant Representations, Written Representations, Examining Authority’s Written Questions and examination hearing preparation

 CJ Associates led on engagement with Statutory Environmental Bodies including:

  • Pro-active engagement and consultation with the Statutory Environmental Bodies to keep them up to date with project developments and maintain and develop relationships characterized by trust, openness and transparency and a willingness to exchange information and act on statutory advice and guidance
  • Timely engagement and consultation with the Statutory Environmental Bodies on the scope and outcomes of the EIA and proposed mitigation, to secure their endorsement for the project’s Environmental Statement and therefore the projects approach to the assessment and mitigation of Scheme impacts
  • Agreement and submission of Statements of Common Ground with all Statutory Environmental Bodies with the submission of the draft Development Consent Order
  • Updating the Statements of Common Ground in accordance with Examination Deadlines set out by the Examining Authority

Value Added

The M25 Junction 10  to A3 Wisley Interchange project is a large and complex scheme from a land and property perspective given its scale and location within common land, open space and a special protection area. These circumstances required a strong technical understanding of implications for land and property and the requirements of the Planning Act 208 as well as compulsory purchase legislation.

Through its experience in communications and programme management of major projects requiring a Development Consent Order, CJ Associates was able to step in to provide leadership, engagement expertise and ensure delivery in accordance with the Planning Act on this high-profile road scheme for Atkins and Highways England.  The excellent relationships forged across the client organisations and with key stakeholders contributed to the success of the workstream in minimising representations made to the Planning Inspectorate and the need for the development of statements of common ground with those affected by the scheme.